Hubs and I just got back from spending the better part of a week in the house I grew up in.
Because my mom died.
The last good picture of me and Mom (July 2018)
I’m going to be processing this fact for a good long while.
But for now, let me tell you a little about this special house.
It’s a small house that was filled with a lot of love. It’s very old but well maintained, because of my dad’s abilities with carpentry, plumbing, and virtually everything else.
As the story goes, my grandfather (whom I never met), at the age of 58, had a massive heart attack and died while standing in the archway between the tiny kitchen and the dining area of this house.
Both of my parents had experiences with his presence in that house over the years. It never scared them at all. I think they found it comforting.
This is also the house my father grew up in. He bought it from my grandmother. Between about 1960 and 1985, he and mom raised me, and my older sister and brother in this house.
The kitchen is quite small. I’m always amazed that despite not having more than 5 feet of counter space to work with, my mom always churned out delicious, homemade meals for us each and every night. The woman had a knack for using small spaces as efficiently as possible. It’s too bad she never got an opportunity to visit Ikea, with their mock up small spaces that have cleverly placed nooks and crannies for housing all the necessities for day to day living.
This is the house in which my two teenaged siblings threw a wild party at, in about 1974, while our parents were on a Las Vegas vacation. The party where 7 year old me was slathered with attention and plied with sandwiches and other treats in an attempt to ensure my silence. I, of course, being the bratty little sister, immediately told on them once our parents got home.
This is the house where my dad, fully immersed in his Alzheimer’s fog 2 years ago, gestured towards the corner of the living room, and relived, for me and mom, the delight he experienced in that very space where 75 years prior, his father sat with him and read stories.
This is the house where, back in the 80’s, my best friend burned a hole with her cigarette on the handmade-by-mom quilt that covered my 4 poster bead while my parents were out of town for the weekend. I lived in fear from that day on that mom would notice that little burn hole. But, surprisingly, she never did.
Yes, the quilt (as our bright 5 year old grandson said: that sounds like it starts with the letter “Q”!) came back home to Colorado with us.
This is the house where people gathered to celebrate. From mom’s bridge club nights to family/friends steak fries during the summer in the backyard to high school graduation parties to wedding present openings.
This is the house where my writing dreams began.
*This post was in response to a prompt from lovely Lorna from Gin & Lemonade: “Dream House”. And in response to the emotions involved in the passing of my one-of-a-kind mother. https://ginlemonade.com/2019/02/13/house-hunting-as-a-wheelchair-user-other-stories/